Except something providential happens, over 12,000 Nigerians seeking asylum in Germany risk being deported next year. Germany’s Global Head of Programmes, Migration and Development, Dr. Ralf Sanftenberg, dropped the hint yesterday during a courtesy call on the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri – Erewa in Abuja.
Sanftenberg, who led a delegation from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development was on a site assessment mission for assisted voluntary returnees of Nigeria’s irregular migrants in his country.
“We have over 37,000 Nigerians in Germany and more than 12,000 of them are asylum seekers. There is a little chance for their applications to be moved and they may be forced to come back to Nigeria next year,” he stated.
Sanftenberg however noted that if they were willing to return home voluntarily, they would be assisted through a support program organized by the German government.
In her response, Dabiri-Erewa commended the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel for her professional handling of illegal migration in her country. “So, we will look forward to what you want to do in terms of setting up German migrant services in Nigeria,” she said.
The Presidential aide urged the affected Nigerians to take advantage of the assistance being offered by the German government and return home. “For Nigerians in Germany, who may wish to return, there is a better place for them at home to help them live a better life. Germany has a program and budget for the returnees. And there are services that will be provided through the German government which they can enjoy,” Dabiri-Erewa added.